Beginner Medical English

A Reference Handbook for Mongolian Students and Healthcare Professionals (DOWNLOAD)

Medical Terminology

ONLINE LESSONS for Healthcare Professionals in Mongolia

Human Anatomy and Physiology

by Dr. Bruce Forciea, 2012 (DOWNLOAD)

Cells: Molecules and Mechanisms

University Cell and Molecular Biology textbook (DOWNLOAD)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

NEWS: Vitamin D supplementation can cut risk of respiratory infections in kids

Originally posted on The Indian Express on August 21, 2012

Daily intake of vitamin D supplement can reduce the risk of respiratory infections such as colds or flu among children in winter, researchers have suggested.

In a study conducted in Mongolian schoolchildren, an international research team found that daily vitamin D supplementation decreased the risk of respiratory infections among children who had low blood levels of vitamin D at the start of the study.

“Our randomized controlled trial shows that vitamin D has important effects on infection risk,” said Carlos Camargo, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the study’s corresponding author.

“In almost 250 children with low blood levels of vitamin D during winter, we found that taking a daily vitamin D supplement cut in half the risk of a respiratory infection,” Camargo stated.

Several recent investigations have suggested that vitamin D best known for its role in the development and maintenance of strong bones has additional important roles, including in immune function.

Since vitamin D is naturally produced by the body in response to sunlight, maintaining adequate levels in winter is particularly challenging in areas such as the northern U.S. and Canada that have significant seasonal variations in daily sunlight.

The current study analyzed data from the Blue Sky Study, conducted in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, by a team led by Harvard investigators in collaboration with local health researchers.

Mongolians are known to be at high risk for vitamin D deficiency, especially during winter, and the Blue Sky Study followed schoolchildren, all of whom were found to have low blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD), which is considered the best measure of vitamin D status, at the study''s outset.

In the current study, Camargo and colleagues compared the number of winter respiratory infections among a group of children who received daily doses of vitamin D added to locally produced milk with that of a control group receiving the same milk without added vitamin D.

Based on reports from their parents, the children receiving vitamin D had about half the incidence of respiratory infections that the control group had.

“Our study design provides strong evidence that the association between low vitamin D and respiratory infections is causal and that treating low vitamin D levels in children with an inexpensive and safe supplement will prevent some respiratory infections,” says Camargo, a professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

The findings will appear in the journal Pediatrics.

Word List:
  • intake: the amount of food, drink, etc. that you take into your body
  • deficiency: the state of not having, or not having enough of, something that is essential
  • incidence: something happens or has an effect
  • causal: connected with the relationship between two things, where one causes the other to happen

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

NEWS: US service members share Medical First Responder course with Mongolian counterparts

Originally posted on
by Sgt. Michelle Brown

Staff Sgt. Aren Callahan, 1-297th Reconnaissance and Surveillance combat medic, conducts a practice drill during the Medical First Responder Course for Khaan Quest 2012 held Aug. 13-17, 2012. Khaan Quest is a regularly scheduled multinational exercise sponsored by the U.S. Army Pacific and hosted annually by the Mongolia armed forces.

FIVE HILLS TRAINING AREA, Mongolia – U.S. service members conducted the Medical First Responder course for Khaan Quest 2012, Aug. 13-17, 2012. It was designed to train Mongolian Armed Forces to perform immediate life-saving first aid.

Khaan Quest is a regularly scheduled multinational exercise sponsored by U.S. Army Pacific and hosted annually by the Mongolia Armed Forces. It is held at the Mongolian Armed Forces Peace Support Center in the vicinity of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Aug. 11 -23, 2012.

“We are here to teach the Medical First Responder course to a select group of Mongolian Armed Forces non-commissioned officers,” said Staff Sgt. Aren Callahan, 1-297th Reconnaissance and Surveillance combat medic.

The 40-hour course aimed to enhance Mongolian Armed Forces training with new and current first aid procedures and care.

“This was a very important, essential course for us,” said Staff Sgt. P. Javkhlan, Mongolian Armed Forces biomedical maintenance technician.

Javkhlan graduated from the 68W Army Combat Medic course at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, in 2008.

“This training was well organized and supplemented with applicable practice exercises that were very helpful,” Javkhlan said.

Spc. Joseph P. Kelly II, 1-297th Reconnaissance and Surveillance Squadron medic, said he was impressed with the dedication and hard work of the course participants.

“The course participants are all motivated and that’s the coolest thing about it; they really get into the training and are picking up the content very fast,” Kelly said.

Twenty-five Mongolian Armed Forces soldiers completed a skills testing and validation followed by a graduation, Aug. 17.

A select group of five soldiers were chosen to receive additional instruction that will allow them to teach the Medical First Responder Course to non-medical soldiers, giving them skills that will prepare them to save the lives of fellow soldiers.

Word List:
  • annually: once a year
  • select: carefully chosen as the best out of a larger group of people or things
  • to enhance: to increase or further improve the good quality, value or status of somebody/something
  • supplemented: a thing that is added to something else to improve or complete it
  • to impress: if a person or thing impresses you, you feel admiration (a feeling of respect and liking for somebody/something) for them or it
  • dedication: the hard work and effort that somebody puts into an activity or purpose because they think it is important
  • "coolest": [slang] approve of something or agree to a suggestion
  • "to get into": [phrasal verb] to become interested in something
  • validation: to state officially that something is useful and of an acceptable standard

Saturday, August 11, 2012

NEWS: Getting a (new) leg up

Originally posted on The Age on August 12, 2012
by Stathi Paxinos

Best foot forward: Cameron Ward with some of his prosthetics. Photo: Jacky Ghossein
WHEN a Mongolian swimmer walked into the Paralympics prosthetics repair centre in Beijing four years ago, Cameron Ward knew he had to help. The Australian prosthetist could hardly believe the state of the prosthetic that the man had been using as a right leg. It looked like a jumbled mess of scrap metal welded together with home-made joints that in Australia ''would be criminal to fit to someone''.

''It looked like his local villager had bashed something together out of metal rather than it being skilfully crafted out of all types of material like carbon fibre and silicons and things like that. It was really uncomfortable, a bit of metal sticking up into his stomach,'' Ward says.

So Ward went about working to replace the leg so that the swimmer could walk to his events at the Water Cube the next day.

Ward gets the thumbs up from a Mongolian swimmer at the Beijing Paralympics. Photo: Jacky Ghosseinein
''He was actually really scared when we told him that we would have to make him a new leg,'' Ward says. ''He was really worried because he couldn't afford it but we said, 'No, it's all covered by the service'. He was overjoyed when he heard that news.

''Whilst it was not the latest and greatest technology in prosthetics it certainly was compared to what he was on. We had to be mindful when we made him a new leg of where he was going back to. He was going back to Mongolia and wouldn't be in the position to be able to maintain the service of very high-tech stuff so we kept the leg we made for him relatively low tech so that the guys on the ground in Mongolia could still service it and he would get a good life out of that.

''But still the difference in technology between what he had and what he ended up on was phenomenal and you could tell how much it meant to him to be comfortable in the socket for the first time in probably a long time.''

Ward, who works as a senior prosthetist for Sydney company APC Prosthetics, which supplies the Australian Paralympic team, will again be working in the repair centre in London helping Australian competitors and those from around the world. It is a cause he is particularly passionate about, having moved to Sydney more than a decade ago so that he could work with Paralympic athletes.

Ward says the centre in Beijing completed about 2000 repairs, ''ranging from really quick jobs through to entire rebuilds''.

''It's almost like a triage centre where they work out the emergency level of whatever needs to be repaired, then that gets categorised and as soon as you finish a job you just walk out and fix another one,'' Ward says.

''That can be anything from fixing broken sprinting blades to rebuilding entire legs for people from Third World countries through to fixing wheelchairs and the whole array of the devices that the Paralympians need. Any of those things can go wrong and therefore need assisting, adjusting or repairing.''

Some sports, such as wheelchair rugby where collisions are part of the game, needed extra resources.

''The rugby guys obviously smash into each other left, right and centre and they actually have welders on site at the game to do it as they go,'' he says.

Ward said as a prosthetist responsible for repairing the athletes' competition and everyday prosthetics, he must take into account the environment to which the athlete would be returning.

''You've got to be very mindful with what you're making them,'' Ward says. ''The latest and greatest technology is not going to be the most suitable for them back in their [home] environment … there's no point putting a high-tech piece of equipment on that they're just not going to be able to maintain. They're not going to have the skills to be able to make those adjustments and the maintenance so that's something you definitely need to consider.''

Word List:
  • prosthetics: man-made parts of the body
  • jumbled: to mix things together in a confused or untidy way
  • bashed: to hit somebody/something very hard
  • phenomenal: very great or impressive
  • socket: part of the prosthesis (artificial limb) that fits around the remaining leg or arm
  • prosthetist: someone who makes, adjusts and repairs prosthetics
  • passionate: having or showing strong feelings of enthusiasm for something or belief in something
  • triage: the process of deciding how sick/injured/damaged a person/thing is, so that the most serious cases can be treated first
  • mindful: emembering somebody/something and considering them or it when you do something
  • suitable: right or appropriate for a particular purpose or occasion

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Free science books at NIGMA

National Institutes of Health, US Government

Strengthening public understanding and appreciation of science is a key NIGMS goal. As part of its efforts, the Institute publishes free science education materials on a range of topics.

Cell Biology:

Inside the Cell
Explores the interior design of cells and vividly describes the processes that take place within cellular organelles and structures.

The Structures of Life
Reveals how understanding the shape of biological molecules involved in many cellular processes provides insight into health and disease.

Chemistry & Biochemistry

The Chemistry of Health
Showcases the many ways that chemistry is helping make the world healthier.

Computing Chemistry from Computing Life
Explores how combining chemistry and computers helps scientists develop new medicines and new materials.

Computers in Biology

Computing Life
Shows how scientists use computers to advance our understanding of biology and human health.


The New Genetics
Explains the role of genes in health and disease, the basics of DNA and its molecular cousin RNA, and new directions in genetic research


Medicines By Design
Discusses the many different ways medicines work in the body and how this information guides the hunt for drugs of the future.

Medicines for You: Studying How Your Genes Can Make a Difference
Describes research on personalized medicines and why it's important.

Science Careers

Showcases the vibrant and diverse scientists who do cutting-edge research and lead interesting lives.

Scientists for the 21st Century: Preparing a Diverse Research Workforce
Describes NIGMS programs to prepare a workforce that reflects the diversity and talent of the U.S. population.